Forbes list of the 20 highest paid artists in 2022


Forbes has released the long-awaited list of “Highest-Paid Artists of 2022” from around the world.

peter jackson, director of ‘Lord of the Rings’ tops the list who made his fortune after selling his visual effects company, ‘Weta Digital’ to Unity Software in November last year. Peter pocketed the colossal sum of $580 million.

Peter made history by becoming the third filmmaker to join the billionaire club alongside Steven Spielberg and George Lucas according to Forbes. Singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen is second on our list with $435 million in revenue.

Forbes has published the list of the highest paid artists in 2022

Most artists like Jay-Z, “Dwayne The Rock” Johnson, and Kanye West have earned huge sums of money which were not earned by rapping, producing or performing but the proceeds received after selling things like champagne, tequila, sneakers among others.

Last year, only two female artists – Reese Witherspoon and Shonda Rhimes was included in the Forbes list of the 20 highest paid artists. While Reese was in 12th place with his $115 million in earnings, Shonda pocketed $81 million and took 18th place.

List of the 20 highest paid artists in 2022

Here’s the full list of Forbes’ highest-paid artists for 2021. Let’s take a quick look!

1. Peter Jackson ($580 million)

New Zealand director and screenwriter Peter Jackson topped the list when he sold a stake in his visual effects company Weta Digital to Unity Software for $1.6 billion in November last year. He is best known across the world as the director, screenwriter and producer of the epic fantasy adventure film ‘The Lord of the Rings’.

Jackson is used to filming scenes from different angles and is also known for his attention to detail.

2. Bruce Springsteen ($435 million)

Bruce Springsteen sold his masters and publishing rights to Sony Music Group last December for an estimated $500 million. The deal includes the sale of 50 years of iconic songs, including 11 multi-platinum albums and five gold singles, as well as recordings and songwriting credits from 20 different studio albums and several live recordings.

The blockbuster contract landed the 20-time Grammy winner No. 2 on Forbes’ list of highest-paid artists of 2021.

3. Jay-Z ($340 million)

Shawn Corey Carter, professionally known as Jay-Z, is hip-hop’s first billionaire who showed his business acumen in 2021 when he sold his stake in music streaming company ‘Tidal’ and the Armand de Brignac champagne brand.

Jay-Z is quite a big name in the music business who is known for his distinctive voice. He is the recipient of 23 Grammy Awards. He has sold over 50 million albums and 75 million singles. It has investments in clothing lines, beverages, real estate, among others.

4. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson ($270 million)

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is on Forbes’ list of highest-paid entertainers of 2021 at #4, even though his estimated earnings for roles in movies like Jungle Cruise and Red Notice are around $65 million. He made 3/4 of his income from his trendy tequila brand Teremana.

red notice

5. Kanye West ($235 million)

The US billionaire rapper-producer made much of his income last year from a multi-year deal he signed with German multinational Adidas to design Yeezy sneakers. Last year, a hoodie and jacket designed by Yeezy for Gap sold out fairly quickly, but it seems the 52-year-old company isn’t happy with how slow it is.

On the music side, Kanye has sold more than 150 million albums and received 22 Grammy Awards. Apart from music, Kanye has a business interest in fashion and design and he has collaborated with international luxury brands Louis Vuitton and also markets his own lines.

6. Trey Parker and Matt Stone ($210 million)

The creators of South Park and its offshoots make $80 million a year running the cottage industry. Last year, the duo struck a six-year deal with Paramount+ in a $900 million deal.

seven. Paul Simon ($200 million)

Paul Simon, an American actor, singer, songwriter and musician has been around for almost 6 decades now. The folk-rock musician has sold several song compositions like “Mrs. Robinson,” “59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)” and “The Sound of Silence” to Sony Music Publishing for around $250 million. in March 2021.

In five years, Simon recorded 3 albums. All three albums entered the Top 5 of the Billboard 200.

8. Tyler Perry ($165 million)

Tyler Perry is an American actor, director, playwright, and producer who is bringing back the Madea franchise that made him popular. He signed a multi-year production deal with BET last year.

Forbes ranked him as the highest paid entertainer in entertainment ten years ago in 2011. He works out of his 330-acre production studio in Atlanta.

9. Ryan Tedder ($160 million)

American singer-songwriter, musician and producer Ryan Tedder, dubbed “the Secret King of Pop”, sold the rights to his catalog of songs to investment firm KKR in January for $200 million.

He is the lead singer of his own band, The OneRepublic, and has also written many songs not only for his band but also for Beyoncé, Adele and Ed Sheeran.

10. Bob Dylan ($130 million)

American singer-songwriter, author and visual artist Bob Dylan, considered one of the greatest songwriters of all time, struck a deal with Sony for $150 million in July to transfer his recorded music and some future recordings.

The 80-year-old Nobel laureate sold his publishing catalog to Universal in 2020 for $400 million.

11. Red Hot Chili Peppers ($116 million)

The Californian rock band sold their catalog including hit songs like “Californication” to London-based music investment fund Hipgnosis in May 2021. The Red Hot Chili Peppers are one of the best-selling bands of all time and have the merit of having sold more than 100 million records worldwide.

The six-time Grammy Award-winning band is considered the most successful band in alternative rock history. They were also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.

12. Reese Witherspoon ($115 million)

American actress, producer and entrepreneur Reese Witherspoon is the first female artist on our list at #12. She sold her production company Hello Sunshine to private equity giant Blackstone for a valuation of $900million in August last year.

She still holds a minority stake in the company. The actress also received around $20 million from 10 episodes of The Morning Show’s second season.

13. Chuck Lorre ($100 million)

Chuck Lorre is an American director, writer, producer, and actor who still earns millions from syndication of sitcom hits like “Two And A Half Men” and “The Big Bang Theory.” Currently, four sitcoms are airing along with the Netflix series called “The Kominsky Method”.

14. Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs ($90 million)

Sean Combs, known as Puff Daddy, P. Diddy or simply Diddy, is a man who knows the business of making money. He is not only a successful rapper, but also a record executive, record producer, and entrepreneur.

In a 1999 interview with Forbes, he said, “I’m not kidding, I’m building assets,” and he wasn’t kidding. He still owns brands like Bad Boy Records which he built earlier. He recently brought back his own fashion label last year in December. Currently, he is generating good cash flow from his brand of vodka liqueur Cîroc.

15. Dick Wolf ($86 million)

American producer, television show creator and writer Dick Wolf is the creator of the popular “Law & Order” television franchise which spanned two decades from 1990 to 2010. He created new shows and syndicated old ones in the under a profit-sharing agreement with Universal Television.

16. Howard Stern ($85 million)

Howard Stern moved from radio to satellite SiriusXM more than 15 years ago and he extended the $500 million deal with SiriusXM for another five years.

17. Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman and David Crane ($82 million)

The people behind the famous ’90s sitcom “Friends Forever” brought the cast back for a reunion are none other than creators Marta Kauffman, David Crane and executive producer/director Kevin Bright.

The trio were paid $425 million by HBO Max to secure the rights to the show.

18. Shonda Rhimes ($81 million)

Acclaimed American award-winning producer Shonda Rhimes’ decision to leave her longtime home at ABC and team up with Netflix has landed her in the Forbes list of highest-paid entertainers.

In 2021, her existing contract with Netflix was extended for another five years for which she will be paid between $300 million and $400 million. She still gets massive ABC residue for Grey’s Anatomy.

19. Neil Young ($80 million)

Neil Young sold his music rights to investment fund Hipgnosis in January 2020. He recently made headlines when he asked streaming platform company Spotify to choose between him and Joe Rogan following the controversy surrounding Covid misinformation. Spotify has removed its music from its platform.

20. Greg Berlanti ($75 million)

Greg Berlanti’s main source of income comes from a six-year production deal signed with over-the-top streaming platform, Netflix for shows like “the psychological thriller You”.

With that, we are done with the Forbes list of the 20 highest paid artists for the year 2021.


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